Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (ALMA)

2020 ALMA Participants Will

  • Connect with a class of 50 leaders from across the metro Atlanta region and become part of the 16-year, 700-person ALMA network
  • Discuss the challenges and opportunities facing metro Atlanta’s arts and culture community
  • Learn how to become powerful advocates for the arts in Atlanta
  • Hear from Atlanta’s arts community leaders and change makers
  • Understand how Atlanta’s civic leaders view arts as important to the region’s future
  • Participate in an immersive creative placemaking workshop
  • Have an opportunity to participate in the implementation of the region’s first Arts, Culture, and Creative Placemaking Strategic Plan

Who should apply?

  • Leaders of all professions who are passionate about arts and culture in their communities
  • Arts and culture professionals who are interested in strengthening leadership skills and learning about the challenges facing metro Atlanta’s arts and culture community
  • Public officials with a desire to incorporate the arts into policy and programming
  • Influencers of the region’s creative economy

Application Timeline

  • August 26, 2019: Applications open
  • October 28, 2019: Applications close
  • November, 2019: 2020 leadership class announced

Recent ALMA alumni include:

  • Waverly Lucas, Co-Founder/Director, Ballethnic Dance Company
  • Susan Mitchell, Executive Director, Dunwoody Nature Center
  • Karim Shariff, Board Chair, Dad’s Garage Theater Company
  • Doreen Williams, Commissioner, Rockdale County
  • Margarita Moldovan, Director of Education and Programs, Cubamerica Foundation
  • Vikki Morrow, Executive Director, National Black Arts Festival
  • Malika Whitley, CEO & Founder, ChopArt
  • Dominique Holloman, Chief of Staff, Office of State Representative William Boddie
  • Ivan Pulinkala, Dean of the College of Arts, Kennesaw State University
  • Marion Phillips, Economic Development Research Analyst, Georgia Power
  • Donna Jackson, Principal, Clayton County Public Schools
  • Sarah LaDart, Economic Development Manager, City of Milton
  • Emily Lightner, Executive Director, Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville

ALMA participants are selected by the ALMA steering committee, a group of Atlanta Regional Council (ARC) staff and selected ALMA alumni. The committee seeks to select a diverse group of individuals with respect to ethnicity, gender, age, geography, profession, community service, and demonstrated leadership.


  • $700 for employees or owners of private sector businesses and employees of government agencies or schools.
  • $350 for employees of nonprofits and working, self-employed artists.

*A limited number of partial scholarships are available.

2020 Class Schedule

  • Kickoff Reception – January TBD, evening
  • Thursday, January 23rd, 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • Wednesday, February 19th, 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • Wednesday, March 11th, 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • Wednesday, April 1st, 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • Wednesday, April 29th, 8:30am – 5:30pm

If necessary, (due to weather, for example) there will be a make-up class Wednesday, June 4th, 8:30am – 5:30pm.

ALMA Application deadline has ended.

ALMA Speakers

Past speakers include:

  • Lisa Cremin (Director, Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund)
  • Joe Bankoff (Georgia Tech and Chair of the Fulton County Arts Council)
  • Karen Paty (Executive Director, Georgia Council for the Arts)
  • Shanequa Gay (artist)
  • Bem Joiner (President and CEO, Atlanta Influences Everything)
  • Amir Farokhi (City Council, City of Atlanta)
  • Doug Shipman (President and CEO, Woodruff Arts Center)
  • Carlton Mackey (Director, Ethics & the Arts, Emory University)
  • Josh Jackson (Editor-in-Chief, Paste Magazine)
  • Lain Shakespeare (Corporate Citizenship Director, MailChimp)
  • Anthony Rodriguez (Producing Artistic Director, Aurora Theatre)
  • Senator PK Martin (Georgia Senate)
  • Doug Hooker (Executive Director, Atlanta Regional Commission)
  • Julie Rhoad (President, The AIDS Quilt)


“I went to [an ARC workshop session on economic competitiveness] today and WOW.  It was great!  ALMA really helped me feel comfortable doing something like that and joining in the conversation.  I feel like what we learned and discussed in ALMA gave me the tools and ignited my passion to participate more in shaping our region.”

Gretchen E. Butler, Theatrical Outfit; 2017 ALMA graduate


Contact Josh Phillipson

Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (ALMA) is a program of the Atlanta Regional Commission. ARC is the regional planning agency for the Atlanta region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties, as well as the City of Atlanta.

NOTICE: Gov. Brian Kemp has extended a public health emergency declaration and a statewide shelter-in-place order for older adults and medically fragile residents through June 12.

The Atlanta Regional Commission office at 229 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta, is closed to the public until further notice. All employees are working remotely and conducting business operations. ARC employees can be contacted directly during normal business hours. However, if you need immediate assistance call 404-463-3100.

If you are seeking resources for older persons and individuals with disabilities, contact us at404-463-3333 or visit

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